Powers and the Game System

Our powers, and the game system modifications, are based on the five-elements theory known as Wu Xing. Basically all power stems from the bioagent which has created a link to one of the five elements. Money and brains are not powers in this system, show up to fight with a super powered individual in your tank and they have an advantage; there may be a way to infuse objects if one technically did find the bioagent but this is not for our super powered players.

Element

The mechanism for Factions is replaced with Element. This is your element. All of your super powers are related to this element. There are five underlying elements to the powers in this system: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood.

Please note that this doesn't have to be direct physical representation such as being covered in flames because your element is Fire.

In the five element theory, each element shares some relation with each of the other four. From boosting another element, being able to destroy another, being boosted by a third and lastly, to one element naturally destroying it. Thus, each one has two elements it either boots, supports or is better against naturally and two elements that are naturally better than it is. Similar to a complex rock, paper, scissors game; when two elements are in opposition, one naturally has an advantage.

These relationships are detailed below.

Rage and Apathy

These are two mechanisms added to our game. Every person afflicted with super powers feels compelled to use those powers or they feel as though they are losing themselves. This is measured against the consumption of that power, whereby continued use of powers lets one succumb to the power itself until it controls them.

Apathy

For every week in which a power is not used in some meaningful situation or event, the apathy of the character increases by 1 point. This is apathy typically expresses in a negative manner such as sadness, or melancholy, or becoming grumpy or easy to anger. Each characters apathy is simply a trait that is generally opposite of how they may naturally act, and usually negative in some manner. If a player feels their character should have something different, contact staff; such as being angry and getting 'happy' as apathy of the character increases. Just be prepared to explain this difference as Apathy is meant to be a negative quality and easily recognizable as such.

Be mindful of your character's apathy level and RP accordingly, this will be monitored through logs.

Thus, this is important, you should post your logs. Not only to show apathy is being played out if necessary but, staff will monitor combat logs that are posted. Appearing in a combat log will satisfy the apathy counter, and it will not increase. If powers were used in a meaningful way in a mundane log, please submit a +request as follows:

+request power=My character utilized their power to convert the lake into a skate rink for whatever reason

This can be, and is, subjective. Staff does not want players doing minimal effort (made ice cubes for their drink one night, or small effect uses).

This is not a role-play only tool to act sad or emotional. If your apathy reaches 10 points, your character will receive 5 Rage points. Your apathy counter will be reset, if you gain 10 points again, you will gain 5 more Rage Points.

We appreciate that weekly connections is not feasible for all players. Either let staff know ahead of time and we will not increase Apathy while you are out, or if you return a few weeks later, let staff known and work out a feasible solution. It takes 10 weeks, or 2 1/2 months, to become so apathetic that the power tries to take over, there is time to make amends.

If a character is in two or more combat scenes, or uses powers more than once in a given week, this will reduce accumulated apathy by the number of additional scenes.

Rage

Rage is the struggle against one's power overcoming their self/reason/being. Unlike apathy, as the Rage grows within a character, it becomes harder to control. This bears saying up front in regards to Rage: this should be closely monitored as reaching 10 Rage Points will turn a character into a Ravisher. This is a being consumed by their power that is bent on total destruction around them and usually has to be put down. A Ravisher character is removed from play, either put down or as a tool for Storytellers. We will not make exceptions, there is time leading up to this end result to make amends to reduce these points. Do not let this happen.

There are two primary ways in which Rage Points are gained:

  • Reaching 10 Apathy will gain 5 Rage Points, be aware of this.
  • Inciting in combat will gain 1 Rage Point

Unlike Apathy, Rage is harder to reduce. Like a storm, it must be released (used).

Release the Storm

Whether through the release of rage against mundane NPCs or the environment, unleashing the power is the only way to remove Rage. Coordinate with another player or staff to conduct a scene involving the release of rage, post the log, report this using +request. A scene involving property damage, destruction of the environment, or a non-harmful misdemeanor type punishable type offense will reduce Rage by 1. Scale will be considered; example, slashing someone's tires might remove 1 Rage, blowing out the windows might be 2-3, flattening the car could well remove 5 or more. A scene involving injury to a mundane person or persons will result in the reduction of 2 points, minimally, for each person injured. This can completely remove Rage if it has reached a scale of 9; at 10, one doesn't recover from being consumed by their power. However, note that injuring others will increase one's Apathy by one for each mundane person injured.

These events can draw unwanted attention, which could cycle back into gaining Rage or Apathy. Coupled with Apathy from injuring others, this is a cyclic series that if not managed well is a spiral leading towards total consumption.

Power Concept

This is your power ability. Remember that it stems from the bioagent used in the terrorist attack during the 10 Ravine Incident. It was gained no other way. It can be anything you prefer in power and utilization. It could represent as spells or magic if your character needs words and gestures as some sort of focus. This could be completely pisonic in nature, thought alone and attacking others minds, the feeling in others would be colored by your element. This representation should also be described in the concept. You could be a speedster of any element; earth -> gravity reduction based, fire -> heated air/lift/hot air balloon for speed flight, metal -> friction-less on surfaces. Do not consider element as some barrier to concept, we encourage creativity in this regard; be mindful a stretch of the imagination may be called into question by staff (water element specifically lined with gravity based tricks or electromagnetism).

This power concept gives us a better idea of your power and how the world may react; if you express as a fire bird, you'll be more noticeable and attract attention most likely, or you may leave a signature for someone tracking your abilities.

Utilize one section of your BG to talk about the power concept and its relation to any super powered skills.

Action Skills

There are four action skills that are only used for characters with super powers. They are as follows:

Attack

Attack represents any number of categorical super powered attacks. This could be physical in the case of enhanced strength, it could be an energy attack, it could be ranged, it could be 'mystical' or 'psionic' in nature.

All attacks utilize Presence as the ruling attribute; that is the attribute that stacks with the skill for the dice pool when making an attack. Its not how strong you are but how well you throw a punch to make the most of your ability. Its not how well you react when making a ranged attack, its knowing your target and your ability to make your attack reach your opponent. Its not how well you think you are in attacking someone's mind, its knowing how you can best affect that individuals mind with your ability. It comes to how you present in the situation against the opponent using your powers to maximum advantage.

Defend

Like attack this represents any number of defenses from absorbing to deflecting to moving or teleporting out of the way.

This skill utilizes Mind as its ruling attribute. Whatever means one defends by, its mindfulness of the situation that optimizes defense. It is about knowing the attack, who is delivering and knowing your best scenario to reduce or prevent damage from occurring to your person.

Movement

Whether teleporting, flying, running up walls using superspeed or some other means, movement is the action skill to represent this. This helps determine speed but, more importantly, in combat if one wants to escape a foe, or catch up with another, Movement is the skill to use in any chase scenario.

Movement utilizes Reaction as its ruling attribute. In a world were speeds are different or one can simply teleport around, ones ability to React to a changing environment is key when maneuvering about friends and foes.

Heal

From self regeneration to alchemical/power infused healing potions, this ability is used within the game system for both healing during combat scenario's and extended healing/recovery after combat.

The primary stat for Heal is Body. Whether its your body healing natural or how you infuse your power boosted healing ability for others, the ruling attribute for Heal is Body.

Background Skills

One may utilize background skills to include effects or tricks related to powers. Do Make Note: these have no affect in combat situations. These can and should be used in PVE situations where outcomes are not known.

Examples:

Fine Motor Skills: power concept of controlling plants, wood is element - utilizing strong fiber tentacles of a plant to pick a lock, retrieve small objects undetected, operating a keyboard from a distance, etc..

Submersible: power concept of gas entity/shape shifter, fire is element - the ability to heat/charge the area about one's head to adapt to any liquid environment and be able to breathe, including heating water around one's head to travel under water.

We encourage creativity, an applicant may work with staff to hammer out kinks in these skills. These should be defined in the Power Concept section of the background so that staff and other players have a clear idea of what this background skill represents.

Do not use it as a catch all or try to get in more value than it is actually worth. We are closer to street level power-wise. A catchall magic/techno/etc. can do anything type power trick/effect will probably be denied.

In the context of PvE, this includes being used against mundane NPCs so long as +roll vs X is used, not just a single skill roll with 'successes' counted but a clear grouping of two dice polls to measure which is better. We do not recommend this for PvP, not only do we not encourage PvP on our game, but other players should be allowed to make rolls and determinations for their character. If two players agree on two skills to roll opposed, this may be done. If in doubt, ask staff; and if players do use certain skills in opposition, this doesn't not mean staff will comply and may run things differently in their plots. When in doubt, ask staff, they are here to help.

Relationship of Elements

This is a key element for both choosing and using a five-elements approach to super power. Each element determines potential bonuses, hindrances and utilization of Luck Points in relationship to each other. This is a simple, somewhat literal approach to the five-elements, oriented more with Wuxing philosophy and not the healing/acupuncture approach to the five elements.

There are four relationship states between elements. Boosting, Supporting, Destroying, and Inciting. Boosting and Destroying are natural states of the elements and are always in affect while Inciting and Supporting can be activated through the utilization of Luck Points.

In a boosting relationship, one element naturally benefits the other, the other always gains a +1 modifier in opposition against the element that is boosting it. Example: Wood fuels fire, fire always has a +1 against wood.

A boosting relationship can be strengthening by spending a luck point to make it Supporting. The boosted element may be given a +5 bonus on any roll, its opposition may be made to suffer a -5 to any roll in opposition, or a re-reroll may be bought for the boosted element by spending one luck point. Example: A wood powered individual may support a fire based teammate against a water opponent by supporting to give them a +5 roll during a part of combat (fueling/stoking the fire with more wood philosophically speaking).

In a Destroying relationship, one element naturally destroys/controls/consumes another. The destroying element naturally gains a +1 modifier in opposition to the element it naturally destroys. Example: Water always destroys fire, it has a +1 against fire.

In a Destroying relationship, the destroyed element can Incite to change the natural situation. This is done by spending luck points. Spending one luck point neutralizes the situation while spending two allows the relationship to be reversed. Example: Fire could spend 1 point to neutralize Water or it could spend 2 and Incite (Fire can boil water, make steam, and destroy it). Spending 2 points nets 1 Rage for the Incited individual.

The relationships for all elements are described below along with the philosophical reasoning.

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Boosting

Each element naturally Boosts another element. When in opposition during combat, the player or NPC of the boosted element receives +1. The NPC must be powered or there is no modifier.

Boosted; the element on the right of the > receives the bonus in opposition to the element on the left:

Fire > Earth > Metal > Water > Wood > Fire

The philosophical view of this is as follows:

  • Fire Boosts Earth; ash, from fire, creates earth
  • Earth Boosts Metal; earth contains minerals that create metal (ores)
  • Metal Boosts Water; heated or cooled metal affects water condensation, metal creates water
  • Water Boosts Wood; water helps plants grow, water creates wood
  • Wood Boosts Fire; wood fuels fire, making it stronger.

Supporting: The boosting element may spend a luck point to grant the boosted element a bonus of +5 to any roll, or apply a -5 to the roll of any opposition for their boosted element. After a roll that was not successful, a boosting element may spend one luck point to allow the boosted element one re-roll. Only on such luck point may be spend on any roll, if the +5 bonus was given before the roll, no luck may be spent to allow a reroll.

Examples: An individual with Earth power is battling an individual with Water power, the Water is Incited (Raged). A Fire teammate of the Earth individual may use a luck point in support of Earth to grant them a +5 to hopefully counter the benefits the Water power opponent has.
An Earth powered individual is trying to knock down a wall to get into a compound, where their initial roll netted zero successes, a Fire teammate has spent a luck point to allow one re-roll, a slight boost to the effort to bring the wall down.

Destroying

Destroying elements naturally break apart or control each other. During combat, the element on the left of the > receives a +1 modifier when in opposition to the element on the right.

Wood > Earth > Water > Fire > Metal > Wood

The philosophy of this cycle is as follows:

  • Wood Destroys Earth; such as roots through the soil making it loose
  • Earth Destroys Water; a dam or bank stops water, soil absorbs water
  • Water Destroys Fire; water is used to stop fire or control its spread
  • Fire Destroys Metal; fire melts/smelts metal
  • Metal Destroys Wood: tools such as axe or saw chops down wood

Inciting

By spending a Luck point, a character may incite their power against an opponent of a Destroying element. One point negates the benefit; a second point Incites the ability. Using two points to Incite will gain a Rage point. Inciting is the act of overusing powers violently to overcome opposition.

Wood < Earth < Water < Fire < Metal < Wood

The philosophy of this cycle is as follows:

  • Earth Incites Wood; jagged rocks rend and tear wood
  • Water Incites Earth: violent rain and storms erode earth
  • Fire Incites Water: fire overheats, boils and evaporates water
  • Metal Incites Fire: Metal shields against fire and can suffocate/extinguish the fire
  • Wood Incites Metal: Wood dulls tools, vines stop metal

Combat and Super Powers

There may be a range of super powered attacks in the gear selection, but for now there is Power Attack. This represents any powered attack a character can make. This should be reflected in your power concept bg slot.

Using Power Attack will calculated the basic advantages based on boosting and destroying. Basically every element naturally receives a +1 against two other elements; and two elements are naturally at a +1 advantage to them. This is as follows:

Element Bonus +1 Against These These Gain +1 Benefit Against
Fire Wood (Boosted), Metal (Destroying) Water (Destroying), Earth (Boosted)
Earth Fire (Boosted), Water (Destroying) Wood (Destroying), Metal (Boosted)
Metal Earth (Boosted), Wood (Destroying) Fire (Destroying), Water (Boosted)
Water Metal (Boosted), Fire (Destroying) Earth (Destroying), Wood (Boosted)
Wood Water (Boosted), Earth (Destroying) Metal (Destroying), Fire (Boosted)
Luck in Combat
Spend 1 Luck No benefits Remove +1 Benefit (Destroying), Give +5 bonus to one roll or reroll (Boosted)
Spend 2 Luck No benefit Gain +1 against Destroying and Gain 1 Rage
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